|Painting these watercolor portraits of Gandhi helped |
Malekeh Nayiny find an inner path toward healing.
From the Tikkun Daily Art Gallery.
As I think about what it means to live in a nonviolent way, I keep coming back to the clear insight I’ve had that all of us can be nonviolent when everyone does exactly what we want them to do. The test of our nonviolence is precisely when people do things we don’t like. Whether individuals in our personal life, co-workers, people we supervise, or bosses at work, or those with significant economic, social, or political power - the challenge is the same. Something profoundly changes when we take on loving everyone. This love is of a unique kind. It isn’t about wanting to be everyone’s friend. It’s not even about liking what people do. For me, it’s about two core bottom commitments. One is to maintain complete awareness of that person’s humanity, and therefore uphold their dignity in all our choices about how to respond. The other is to continually aim for solutions that attend to that person’s needs, as best we understand them. Both of these are internal matters, and they tell us nothing about the specific kinds of actions to take in response to what we don’t like. At the same time, those intentions completely affect how we might choose to respond in those times when someone else’s actions are at odds with our own human needs.